EXCLUSIVE: POLICE are on high alert ahead of this evening’s ‘Tour of the North’ parade in Belfast.
PSNI intelligence reports warn that republicans have been urged through social media sites to take to the streets of north Belfast to counter the annual Orange Order parade.
It is understood they have been called to turn up at Carrick Hill Community Centre by 6.30 pm for a rally.
Republican message board sites have also put out calls for supporters to back Carrick Hill residents by turning up in large numbers.
A security source told Belfast Daily: “It looks like we are in for a long, hot night.”
The PSNI is expected to mobilise hundreds of officers into the north Belfast area to prevent any violence erupting.
Judges have already warned that anyone caught rioting this summer will face even tougher jail terms.
Last year’s Tour of the North descended into controversy when north Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly tried to halt a PSNI landrover which was ferrying a teenager to police custody over an incident.
The Old Bailey bomber was caught on video standing in front of the landrover before it moved off.
He then grabbed the front of the landrover was carried for several yards on the moving vehicle.
The MLA said he was attempting to talk to police about the teenager when the landrover moved off.
The PSNI and the Police Ombudsman later launched investigations into the incident dubbed ‘Landrovergate’.
Both the MLA and the driver of the police vehicle received “informal warnings” about their conduct.
Mr Kelly later announced he was suing the PSNI over the incident but subsequently dropped the legal action.